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Starting Xing Yi P2: Learning to Kung Fu chop!! Pi Quan (Splitting Fist) of Xing Yi

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

So it turns out some stereotypes are true and in your first Xing Yi class (see my article on what is Xing Yi here) you will probably learn how to Kung Fu chop someone in the neck!


This move is called the splitting fist and is associated with the Metal element (Xing Yi uses the Chinese 5 elements, there is a lot of theory here we dont need today, more on this in another article). The important things to note are that this is a downwards and forwards movement and it can be a block and/or a strike. Splitting fist is strong against staight line attacks like jabs, crosses, Wing Chun verticle punches or untrained straight punches. It is also great for chopping things like necks, collar bones, biceps when people throw wide haymakers, noses and the like! It is the main defensive move of Xing Yi and a very useful and versatile movement pattern.


Here is a simple instructional video to teach you the hand movements:



Here we have three seperate movements. Dont worry about the body or feet for now just get the hand movements right first. Start slowly and stay soft, as you get more comfortable with the movements move faster but not harder, speed is power. Just follow these four simple steps:


0) Preparation: Right hand starts on centre neck height, fingers open and blade of the hand forward. Left hand starts above the left hip, fingers open and pointing forward.

1) Pull: Right hand closes and pulls back to the hip

2) Punch: Right hand drills upwards into an uppercut, left hand also comes forward supporting (but not touching) at the elbow

3) Split: Both hands turn over and chop down. Left hand crosses behind right before chopping down and forwards at neck height, right hand turns down and pulls back to right hip. You are now in the opposite preparation position and can continue on the other side.


This is the basic foundation of the movement. We still need to add in the body mechanics and stepping. More on that next time...

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